Got the E-PM1 - Really like it but w/ a dissappointment

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by letsgocoyote, Dec 11, 2011.

  1. letsgocoyote

    letsgocoyote Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 25, 2011
    So after some research I decided to get the E-PM1 over other MFT cams. I chose it because it has full HD, option for external mic, and small size and price.

    I received it today, and was testing out all the features, and found that it would not fire my external flash (not the included clip on flash, but a standard flash unit). I then tried hooking it up with my cheap Adorama radio slaves, and still no go. What is odd is also I cannot fire the flash, nor the radio trigger, using their test fire buttons when they are mounted in the hot shoe of the camera. This is really disappointing to me because using flashes for me is very important!
    I think I got a defective unit it and hope to be able to exchange it for a new one that fires flashes properly. Although, could it be something I need to change in a custom menu, to make it work?

    That aside, I am really impressed with the camera. The IBIS seems to work great, despite reports otherwise from other people. It's nice and compact and seems well built. The outer body is metal, no?
    One thing like is the control you have over the image processing in the camera itself. Having quick access to stuff on the super control panel is great, and I love that you can natively shoot in black and white. It feels more 'real' to me to maybe shoot that way, but I have never had a camera that does that. Whats more is being able to put on yellow/orange/red/green filters in B/W mode in camera! Awesome!
    I was also impressed with the C-AF in video mode. It works very smoothly, and what's better is the 14-42 lens doesnt do that weird thing where it has to over-focus before popping back into proper focus. It just gently goes right to sharp focus and stops on a dime.
    Despite being very quiet, the internal mic still pics up the focus motor noise, but perhaps that has to do with the auto gain control on the mics while recording a quiet scene.

    Overall, I really like this camera, so I hope my hot shoe issue can be resolved!
  2. Art

    Art Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    Did you turn on RC mode?
  3. letsgocoyote

    letsgocoyote Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 25, 2011
    RC mode is for remotely triggering FL-36r/FL-50r flashes using the clip on flash unit. I did try it, but still the camera will not fire a standard flash unit or my radio trigger
  4. letsgocoyote

    letsgocoyote Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 25, 2011
    I found another person posted a thread on with the exact same problem. I am returning the camera tomorrow in exchange for a new one, in hopes that it will operate correctly!
  5. Sammyboy

    Sammyboy m43 Pro

    Oct 26, 2010
    Steeler Country
    Did you select RC on the flash?
    Did you try setting the camera on manual to see if the flash would fire when mounted on the hot shoe?
    Did you read your camera and flash manuals?
  6. ibcj

    ibcj Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 15, 2011
    Does the included flash work ? What type of flash are you attaching to the hotshoe - is it possible that it isn't compatible ? I'm sure that you will get the situation resolved.

    The standard hotshoe was an important consideration in my purchasing this camera. I use pocket wizards with my EPM1 and don't haven't had any problems.
  7. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    When RC mode is on, the E-PM1 won't fire a regular flash, it will only send RC signals to the included flash. Previous Olympus cameras used the built-in flash as a Remote Commander, and as such turning RC Mode on did not affect the use of hotshoe flash. This is the only thing I can think of, so double check that RC Mode is OFF when you try the flash.
  8. letsgocoyote

    letsgocoyote Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 25, 2011
  9. zacster

    zacster Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 4, 2011
    It took a few weeks for me to get wifi streaming to work to my blu-ray player from my Mac. Neither were defective. I just had to find compatible software that worked with both. It sounds like the same situation.
  10. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    I hope so! Do let us know if it does or doesn't work...
  11. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    Real Name:
    I have a Metz 58 (for Oly) that works perfectly with my E-P3 or E-PL3, but I always wonder about this: if the external flash is not meant for an Oly body, does it still work with the Oly body? Do you just lose the synchronization / TTL capabilities, or does it simply stop working?
  12. SZRimaging

    SZRimaging Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 16, 2011 I need to go test mine and see if it triggers my Ranger Quadras....
  13. letsgocoyote

    letsgocoyote Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 25, 2011
    Let me know if you also have this problem! Although I sure hope you don't!
  14. treck_dialect

    treck_dialect New to Mu-43

    Oct 14, 2011
    my canon 580exII flash works with my ep1 minus the synchronization/TTL.
  15. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Yes, any digital-spec flash (ie, with less than 6V trigger voltage) can be fired by the standard hotshoe of the PEN cameras with no TTL. The center contact is just a simple single-point trigger and is standard across all brands. However, you want to use a trigger or adapter which will use only the single contact, to avoid contacts accidentally touching and sending the wrong signal from all the extras pins. People say Nikon flashes have no problems being used directly on the hotshoe, just make sure you keep it on manual. Canon flashes have the exact same pin pattern so the Canon TTL cable can be used on the PEN to fire a Four-Thirds flash (and I bet the Canon ETTL Pocket Wizards should too, but I haven't tried that), but I wouldn't recommend putting a Canon flash on it, or on the hotshoe. A Canon flash works great in manual though, preferably through a single contact trigger or sync cable.

    With no TTL and with safe adapters, practically all flashes are interchangeable except for Sony/Minolta Alpha mount. Even old flashes that use over 6V of trigger voltage can still be used with a "Safe Sync" adapter which steps down the voltage to under 6V for you.
  16. letsgocoyote

    letsgocoyote Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 25, 2011
    Well I received my replacement E-PM1 today and am super happy now because the hot shoe is working!!! Now I have to set up all the custom functions and SCP to my liking ;)

    Also got the 17mm lens now as well. I think this is the closest thing to a digital XA as I will find! I have the 45mm, Samyang fisheye, and more on my wishlist now.